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Nielsen Ratings Are Such A Long Standing Joke

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Nielsen. Don’t you find it weird that the company is the deal maker and breaker for most television entertainment? Receive some bad ratings according Nielsen and you can forget about it. You’re canceled. Erm… Nielsen still couts on a select pool of TV watchers to report their habits to the service, but yeah… According to Nielsen, they have 5,000 households in the national People Meter sample, approximately 20,000 households in the local metered market samples, approximately 1,000 metered homes for our national and local Hispanic measurement.”

Twenty-six thousand households total decide the whole shebang for the 305 million households in the United States. That’s like less that a percent across the demos. Worthless! Worthless! Do you really really believe that they are tapping minorities, single women and college kids effectively? Give me a break. And you wonder why Arrested Development got canceled despite everyone and their mother loving it.

Nielsen. I’m just going to say what everyone is thinking – total poop, but the company is so entrenched in broadcast that really… who the hell can take them on? Well, other than Brooke Shields who has fought mightily for her show Lipstick Jungle. After looking into the data, NBC found that once TIVO was included the show’s numbers were on the increase and not so bad. Yo! Brooke! Don’t rely on Nielsen to save your show. Follow the lead of your comrade in arms, Theresa Pepe.

Pepe is Current TV’s Vice President of Research. She might also be the hero that content providers have been looking for. Pepe recently made a “plea to a group of top industry executives to help solve a vexing bias in the way TV households are sampled that handicaps smaller and emerging channels.” From Mediapost:

“-Analysis by Foster showing that smaller cable networks must reach disproportionately more of Nielsen’s panel households to generate comparable ratings. Foster implied this was due to a methodological glitch, and the fact that Nielsen’s total national sample of about 14,000 households is not nearly large enough to accurately represent smaller TV outlets as the medium continues to fragment.”

Pepe and CurrentTV are now using TNS, which is developing a new TV ratings system derived from actual digital set-top data directly from cable and satellite TV operators.

Nielsen. Crooks.

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